Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself to What You See on the Internet

Over the past ten years, we have witnessed the birth of social media.

It started with AOL (remember dial up?) and websites called MySpace, which have transformed into platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Although some websites like LinkedIn have been developed for professional networking purposes, much of social media is used for personal use.

Every morning I open my computer and log onto Facebook and Instagram and check my feed. When I first became a “user” or a “follower,” I was only concerned with keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings in the lives of my friends. However, over the years these platforms have provided a means to also get a closer look into the lives of celebrities.

Regardless of whether you scroll through your best friend’s Facebook during lunch or never miss an Instagram post by Kim Kardashian, you are formulating an idea of what you think a day in the life is like for these people.

What we see online is rarely real

It becomes very tempting to view these pages of friends and celebrities and quickly think how perfect their lives are and how far from perfect your life is. You follow one friend who takes pictures of herself with her six-pack abs getting her fitness on at the gym. You also follow a blogger who snaps a photo of her super chic workspace gadgets, making it seem like she has a stress-free job, which you also don’t have.

Remember: People post what they want you to see. They tend to post the good, not the bad.

Few people would write a status about their biggest fears instead of their biggest accomplishments. Few people would also post a picture of their microwaved ramen over that epic sushi boat. And no one would ever post a picture of their ordinary shoes or handbag when Santa just brought them Louboutins (you better believe they will flash that red) and a Tory Burch bag.

You need to find the cause of negative feelings

Instead of starting to think negatively or feel sorry for yourself when you see these posts, ask yourself, “Why am I envious or jealous or [insert person]?” Reflect on why you are feeling a particular way. This kind of reflection will help you explore your insecurities and anxieties or even hopes and dreams. You may feel uncomfortable because, lets get real, no one enjoys feeling negative emotion. But once you explore it, you will grow from it and gain the power you need to become the person that you want to be and to live the life that you want to lead. Sounds somewhat cliché, but seriously, try it.

Once you’ve answered some of these questions, instead of comparing yourself to others you see on the Internet, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat to create your own brand. Use it as a means to accurately represent who you are, what you stand for, what you believe in and even where you want to be. Share your goals and aspirations, and make it motivational for both yourself and others. And most definitely don’t be afraid of who or what that might be.

Don’t compare it. Represent it.

opening image: Kenza Zouiten